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July 18, 2024 at 8:00 am · · Comments Off on Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) Announces Appointments to its Board of Directors

Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) Announces Appointments to its Board of Directors

PORTLAND, Maine (July 15, 2024) – Jeremy Deering of Scarborough and Ron Dovich of Cumberland have been elected to the board of directors of the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA), a statewide organization of commercial real estate owners, developers and related service providers.

Jeremy Deering is a Senior Vice President and Regional Commercial Banking Manager for the Maine Region for NBT Bank, based in Portland. He is a native Mainer who was born and raised in Central Maine. Jeremy graduated from the University of New England and began his banking career shortly thereafter. He has spent the last 25 years in the Banking industry, the vast majority of which has been focused on Commercial Banking.

Prior to the last five years at NBT Bank, Jeremy has enjoyed team leader roles in Commercial Banking at Bank of New Hampshire and Androscoggin Bank. Jeremy’s professional interests include Construction, Development, Commercial Real Estate, Family-Owned Businesses and Leadership. Jeremy is passionate about Maine, Maine people, and helping move Maine forward.

Ron Dovich is a Senior Relationship Manager for TD Bank serving clients throughout Maine. He is responsible for Developing new business and managing existing client portfolios with a focus on commercial real estate. Ron joined TD Bank in July of 2020. Prior to TD Ron worked for a Commercial Real Estate Development Firm in Houston, TX where they focused on Light Industrial business parks and NNN Retail properties.

Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Ron served in the US Navy for 10 years as a Naval aviator, which included 3 years assigned to NAS Brunswick, ME, ultimately influencing he and his family to relocate back to Maine in 2020.

“We are excited to announce the addition of Jeremy and Ron to our board of directors. Their diverse backgrounds and expertise in real estate, development, and investment will bring immense value to our organization. MEREDA is committed to making a positive impact and with the passion and dedication of our board members, we will continue to do so,” says Shelly R. Clark, Executive Director for MEREDA.

For further information, please contact MEREDA’s Executive Director, Shelly R. Clark at 207-874-0801 or visit ww.mereda.org.

July 16, 2024 at 6:00 am · · Comments Off on MEREDA Releases The MEREDA Index Report for 2023

MEREDA Releases The MEREDA Index Report for 2023

MEREDA has released its 18th edition of the MEREDA Index. As a key economic indicator for Maine, the MEREDA Index measures the pulse of the state’s real estate industry and is the leading way our industry tracks changes in Maine’s real estate markets.

A measure of real estate activity designed to track changes in Maine’s real estate markets, the Index is a composite of nine seasonally adjusted measures reflecting both new development and transactions involving existing properties and it covers both the commercial and residential markets statewide. This most recent edition covers the year 2023. The MEREDA Index was tabulated by economist Dr. Charles Colgan and comes in at 114.1.

This latest edition of the MEREDA Index showed a decline of 1.5% between 2022 and 2023. The driver of the decline was the residential index, which declined 11.3% as interest rate increases being driven to offset inflation began to seriously bite into real estate markets. The commercial and construction components of the index both increased, by 23.5% in the former case and 2.3% in the latter case. These increases were not sufficient to offset the drops in residential activity.

To download a copy of the full report, please click here.

July 15, 2024 at 7:05 am · · Comments Off on The Maine Real Estate & Development Association Names New President for 2024-2026 & Elects Officers

The Maine Real Estate & Development Association Names New President for 2024-2026 & Elects Officers

PORTLAND, Maine (July 15, 2024) – The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Shannon Richards of Hay Runner, to President for 2024-2026.

Portland resident, Shannon Richards, has been elected as President of MEREDA for a two-year term. Born and bred in Maine, Shannon has been an artist and entrepreneur since she was young, spending the last 20-plus years in the practice of designing and building, manifesting a life centered around creation. Shannon has produced hundreds of custom homes, commercial spaces, pieces of furniture and fixtures.

Shannon is the founder of Hay Runner, a real estate development company that provides services related to residential and commercial real estate transactions, project management, design, construction, furnishing and produces design centric events. Hay Runner also provides brokerage services through its affiliation with Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty.

An active member of MEREDA, Shannon recently served as a MEREDA Vice President, co-chaired MEREDA’s Conference Committee, and continues to serve on its Executive Committee. Shannon joined the MEREDA board in 2019 and that same year, was selected to receive one of two MEREDA’s Volunteer of the Year Awards. Shannon is also part of the Greater Portland Board of Realtors, the Maine Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors.

“Shannon has been, and will continue to be, an invaluable asset to our volunteer organization. Her dedication and passion for the work she does is truly inspiring, and we are excited to continue working with her in this new capacity”, said Shelly R. Clark, MEREDA’s Executive Director.

In addition, MEREDA’s board of directors elected its 2024 / 2025 slate of officers which include President Shannon Richards of Hay Runner, Vice Presidents Gary Vogel of Drummond Woodsum, Jennifer Small of Malone Commercial Brokers, and Jason Favreau of BerryDunn, Treasurer Mark Stasium of Camden National Bank, and Secretary Shelly R. Clark, who also serves full time as MEREDA’s Executive Director.

For further information, please contact Shelly R. Clark at 207-874-0801 or visit www.mereda.org.

July 9, 2024 at 6:00 am · · Comments Off on Listen Up! The July 2024 Episode of the “MEREDA Matters” Podcast is Now Available!

Listen Up! The July 2024 Episode of the “MEREDA Matters” Podcast is Now Available!

A Conversation with Mandy Reynolds and Sean Ireland from The Grant

From The Grant, Sean Ireland, a Principal at Windward Development, and Mandy Reynolds, a real estate development consultant, sit down with MEREDA President Shannon Richards for the first episode in Season 2 of MEREDA Matters – the podcast that puts you in the room with the people who are driving responsible development in Maine.

Ireland, who grew up in Phippsburg and Cumberland, talks about why he chose to work in Bath, the historic transformation happening there, and how his work focuses on small projects that can make a big difference. Reynolds, who grew up in Berwick, had never been to Bath until she started working with Ireland on development projects.

The pair go on to discuss their work on the Grant Building project, which began during the pandemic when the community needed a safe space to gather with high-speed internet capabilities and has become a mixed-use building with their co-working space Union + Co, four residential units, and three additional commercial spaces. Ireland and Reynolds share how this project represents a culmination of their principles for good development and give insight into how they made the project come together through a historic tax credit and the grit to self-perform the majority of the work.

The group also discusses Ireland and Reynolds’s next project, a redevelopment of the Stinson Seafood Cannery into the first purpose-built electric marina in the nation. Looking for inspiration for the future, the pair is taking a year-long working sabbatical to travel around the world to learn more about innovative community development projects and the Blue Economy.

What has had the biggest influence on Sean and Mandy? Listen to the episode to find out!  https://mereda-matters.simplecast.com/

Catch up on past episodes while you’re there!

 

The MEREDA Matters podcast is sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank and Clark Insurance, A Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company. A new episode will be released each month and each will feature new voices from the real estate and development industry.

June 25, 2024 at 6:00 am · · Comments Off on The Right Equation for Responsible Development: Spotlight on University of Southern Maine Portland Commons Residence Hall and McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success (Portland)

The Right Equation for Responsible Development: Spotlight on University of Southern Maine Portland Commons Residence Hall and McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success (Portland)

Each year, the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) recognizes some of the state’s most “noteworthy and significant” real estate projects, completed in the previous year. The exemplary projects from across the state, completed in 2023, not only embody MEREDA’s belief in responsible real estate development, but also exemplify best practices in the industry, contributing to Maine’s economic growth by significant investment of resources and job creation statewide.

This year, MEREDA honored projects from Portland to Gardiner to Presque Isle, with each receiving special recognition at MEREDA’s 2024 Spring Conference on May 15th.

In a multi-part series exclusive to the Maine Real Estate Insider, we’ll provide an up-close look at the most notable commercial development projects of the past year that are helping to fuel Maine’s economy in terms of investment and job creation. MEREDA is proud to recognize responsible development based upon criteria including environmental sustainability, economic impact, energy efficiency, difficulty of the development, uniqueness, social impact and job creation.

MEREDA’s 2023 Top 7 recipients include:

University of Southern Maine Portland Commons Residence Hall and McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success, Capstone Development Partners (Portland)

Maine Savings Amphitheater, Waterfront Concerts, LLC (Bangor)

Phoenix Flats, Community Housing of Maine (Portland)

Homeless Services Center, Developers Collaborative (Portland)

Northeastland Hotel, Haley Ward, Inc. (Presque Isle)

Johnson Hall Opera House, Johnson Hall Redevelopment, LLC (Gardiner)

The Armature at Hanover Works, Reveler Development (Portland)

Please join us this week in celebrating USM Portland Commons Residence Hall and McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success.

MEREDA:  Describe the building and project.

This massive transformation of University of Southern Maine’s (USM) Portland campus included two connected facilities – the 218,000-square-foot, eight-story Portland Commons student residence and the 42,000-square-foot, five-story McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success – both centered on a one-acre green quad.

The Portland Commons Residence Hall is home to undergraduates in their second, third, or fourth year; graduate students; law students; and residential staff with a mix of single-occupancy rooms, studio apartments, and larger apartments with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. Amenities include a courtyard, a variety of study and meeting rooms, interior gathering spaces, and indoor bike storage.

The building has four wings, two reaching five stories in height and two reaching eight stories in height — forming a parallelogram that encloses the semi-private residential courtyard and maximizes access to natural daylight and views for living units.

This first-ever, on-campus, Portland-based residence hall for USM will provide affordable housing in a market where inventory is low and expensive, reduce competition for scarce housing with Portland residents, and alleviate overcrowding in the Gorham Campus residence halls.

The McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success is a welcoming center of student life. The large scale of the building begins with the soaring south-facing Bath Savings Portico comprised of diagonal cross-laminated timber (CLT) columns to create a signature visual expression across the front façade. A broad gesture roughly 30 feet tall, 20 feet deep, and 200 feet long, the portico forms a “front porch” and covers a two-story mass timber-framed lobby. Enclosed entirely in a transparent curtain wall, this dramatic lobby is anchored by a monumental stone fireplace and soaring open stairs.

On the ground floor, the lobby is adjacent to a large dining common with a 254-seat capacity. The Double L Fireside Student Lounge, the University Store, and the Husky Brew provide more spaces to connect and study. The second floor is devoted entirely to career services, featuring the new home of the Career & Employment Hub with an office suite; a 4,500-square-foot multi-purpose room; private meeting rooms; and the Prentice Board Room. The top floor is devoted to Student Affairs, featuring the Student Diversity Center, with offices and various student lounge spaces.

These new campus facilities represent the pinnacle of sustainability and embraced renewable low-carbon building technologies, waste diversion, and strategies to maintain healthy living and working spaces. Portland Commons is the second largest Passive House residence hall in the United States and is projected to use 50% less energy than a standard modern building. The McGoldrick Center, with its large-scale 33.3-kW rooftop photovoltaic array and passive solar heating through a large south-facing glass façade, is pursuing LEED Gold certification. The building also incorporates corrugated metal and wood cladding materials, which are low carbon in their manufacture and shipping and can be recycled at the end of their long lifecycle. The facility is comprised of one-third mass timber and two-thirds structural steel framing, with low-carbon mass timber CLT and laminated lumber supports throughout as replacement for more carbon-intensive steel and concrete. Both buildings incorporate technologies such as energy-efficient lighting, water-efficient fixtures and daylight harvesting to further minimize impact.

MEREDA:  What was the impetus for this project? 

A 2019 Facilities Master Plan outlined a series of important planning and building initiatives to better prepare the University to attract and retain highly qualified students and faculty, transforming the local and state economies through scholarship, civic and cultural engagement, and innovation. The addition of new residential beds and a student center focused on career counseling and graduate success – both framing a new central quad – were the cornerstones of that master plan.

Fulfilling the aspirations of that master plan, the Portland Commons Residence Hall, McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success, and L.L.Bean Green give the University a new campus heart that offers on-campus housing, dining amenities, and social and academic support spaces for all students. Surface parking that once occupied the site was relocated to a new garage, allowing the residence hall and student center to frame a large open lawn that has become the signature open space on the campus. With a design equally informed by all three pillars of sustainability, the new buildings and landscape enhance social equity with access and support for all; economic prosperity by providing compact, energy-efficient housing with a cost-effective price; and environmental stewardship by greatly reducing energy consumption through Passive House design, mass timber construction, and a renewable energy solar array on top of the McGoldrick Center.

MEREDA:  That sounds like quite a process. How long were you in the planning stages before construction started?

PC Construction proposed with Capstone Development Partners on the project in July 2019 and were awarded the project in November 2019. The design-build planning process started in earnest in late December 2019. The original goal was to start construction in late summer 2020 but the pandemic impacted the preconstruction and design process and moved the construction start to March 2021. The planning process to delivery of the GMP was approximately 14 months.

MEREDA:  Tell us about the most challenging aspect of getting this project completed.

Portland Commons and McGoldrick Center, plus a multi-level parking garage, were under construction by PC simultaneously on USM’s campus. Combined with the several other construction projects also underway in Portland, the availability of skilled tradespeople was a major challenge. To keep the USM projects on schedule, PC offset the work sequences for subcontractors to coordinate the needs of all three buildings without depleting each other’s resources.

Another challenge involved the relocation of the campus’s main steam line. The existing conditions differed from the as-builts, which required a redesign of the connections at either end of the steam line and the installation of a new condensate line. This unexpected work had to be completed before October 1 so that the campus heating system could be turned on for the winter season.

Lastly, the delivery of the prefabricated metal panels that formed the superstructure of Portland Commons became a supply chain issue, potentially putting the entire project schedule at risk. Electrical rough-in could not begin until the building was weather-tight, and since this delay would set back roof installation, the team made a major pivot to erect one wing at a time, rather than one floor of two wings at a time.

MEREDA:  Something unexpected you learned along the way was….

Achieving Passive House certification could have been a lot more challenging than it turned out to be. Outstanding project teaming partners made certification possible.

MEREDA:  Now that it’s complete, what feature of the project do you think makes it the most notable?

The expansive mass timber of the McGoldrick Center is impressive. Even though Maine is so well known for its extensive forestry industry, the trees in this area typically do not meet the structural requirements of mass timber. With one-third of the building comprised of mass timber, the building brings an exciting visual appeal while providing sustainable benefits. With Portland Commons, designing and constructing the second largest Passive House building at a university in the United States and a top-10 largest Passive House building anywhere in the country was incredibly exciting. This entire team will look back at the USM campus with pride for a long time to come.

June 7, 2024 at 2:30 am · · Comments Off on MEREDA’s Annual “Strikes for Scholars” Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser Raises Scholarship Funds for Maine Students

MEREDA’s Annual “Strikes for Scholars” Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser Raises Scholarship Funds for Maine Students

MEREDA is thrilled to announce that its Annual Strikes for Scholars Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser will once again enable the organization to donate a total of $15,000 towards scholarships to Maine students entering the building trades. $5,000 designated towards scholarships will be provided to each of the following: Associated General Contractors of Maine’s Education Foundation, Associated Building and Contractors of Maine, and the ACE Mentor Program of Maine.

MEREDA believes strongly in empowering Maine students on their journey towards careers that resonate with our core values of fostering responsible development and ownership of real estate across the state. The Strikes for Scholars fundraiser not only allows us to contribute towards education but also serves as a beacon of support for students venturing into the building trades industry. Every dollar raised at the event directly benefits students as they pursue their studies and gain valuable experience in the field. Thank you to everyone who participated and supported this important cause – together, we are making a meaningful difference in the lives of aspiring professionals in Maine!

MEREDA began its scholarship program for students in the building trades and professions 12 years ago and has continued to grow and support the program. Since the fundraiser’s inception, MEREDA is proud to have raised and donated over $181,000 to deserving Maine students. This includes this year’s donation of $15,000!

We are deeply appreciative of everyone involved in this event, sharing our goal of supporting Maine’s students pursuing education related to construction, design, engineering, and architecture. Our Sponsors Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Daigle Commercial Group, and SERVPRO, as well as our bowling teams, and those who purchased raffle tickets!

June 6, 2024 at 12:45 pm · · Comments Off on MEREDA Releases its 18th edition of the MEREDA Index.

MEREDA Releases its 18th edition of the MEREDA Index.

MEREDA has released its 18th edition of the MEREDA Index. A key economic indicator for the state of Maine, the latest edition of the MEREDA Index showed a decline of 1.5% between 2022 and 2023. The driver of the decline was the residential index, which declined 11.3% as interest rate increases being driven to offset inflation began to seriously bite into real estate markets. The commercial and construction components of the index both increased, by 23.5% in the former case and 2.3% in the latter case. These increases were not sufficient to offset the drops in residential activity.

The MEREDA Index is a measure of real estate activity designed to track changes in Maine’s real estate markets. The Index is a composite of nine seasonally adjusted measures reflecting both new development and transactions involving existing properties and it covers both the commercial and residential markets statewide. This most recent edition covers the year 2023. The MEREDA Index was tabulated by economist Dr. Charles Colgan.

Download the full copy of the report here.

June 4, 2024 at 6:00 am · · Comments Off on Listen Up! The June 2024 Episode of the “MEREDA Matters” Podcast is Now Available!

Listen Up! The June 2024 Episode of the “MEREDA Matters” Podcast is Now Available!

A Conversation with Shannon Richards, Incoming President of MEREDA

Incoming President of MEREDA Shannon Richards sits with current MEREDA President Craig Young and immediate past President Josh Fifield for the eighteenth episode of MEREDA Matters – the podcast that puts you in the room with the people who are driving responsible development in Maine.

Richards, who is the Founder of the design-build firm Hay Runner, shares the origin of her company, including the inspiration for its name. She goes on to talk about what it was like growing up in Castine, Maine and Jamestown, Rhode Island and why she feels that all of Maine is like an island community. Richards also discusses the importance of art in her life, how she does something creative everyday, and why she decided to build an art school with her partner, architect Caleb Johnson. The conversation also includes a discussion on Richards’s approach to running a successful business, which for her is about coming up with a plan and then showing up every single day.

The group goes on to reflect on their experiences working together on MEREDA events and what Richards’s goals are for the next two years as President.

Where is Shannon’s favorite place to vacation in Maine? Listen to the episode to find out!  https://mereda-matters.simplecast.com/

Catch up on past episodes while you’re there!

 

The MEREDA Matters podcast is sponsored by NBT Bank and Landry French Construction. Additional sponsors include Bangor Savings Bank, Clark Insurance, A Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company, and The Boulos Company. A new episode will be released each month and each will feature new voices from the real estate and development industry.

May 30, 2024 at 1:18 pm · · Comments Off on Maine Real Estate & Development Association Recognizes Top 7 Notable Projects of 2023

Maine Real Estate & Development Association Recognizes Top 7 Notable Projects of 2023

The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA), the state’s leading organization promoting responsible real estate development, honored projects from Portland to Bangor to Presque Isle, with each receiving special recognition at MEREDA’s 2024 Spring Conference on May 15th.

Each year, MEREDA recognizes some of the state’s most “noteworthy and significant” real estate projects, completed in the previous year. The exemplary projects from across the state, completed in 2023, not only embody MEREDA’s belief in responsible real estate development, but also exemplify best practices in the industry, contributing to Maine’s economic growth by significant investment of resources and job creation statewide.

Each of the seven projects was selected in part based upon criteria including: noteworthy and significant project completed* in 2023 (*Building Occupancy Permit issued by 12 31 23), environmental sustainability, economic impact, energy efficiency, social impact, uniqueness, difficulty of development and job creation.

The recipients of MEREDA’s Top 7 Most Notable Projects of 2023 include:

• University of Southern Maine Portland Commons Residence Hall and McGoldrick Center for Career & Student Success in Portland. These two facilities represent a massive transformation of USM’s Portland campus. The first-ever Portland residence hall will provide affordable housing for students in a market where inventory is low and expensive. The new student center incorporates cross-laminated timber columns to create a signature visual expression across the front facade. These new campus facilities represent the pinnacle of sustainability and embrace renewable low-carbon building technologies. Portland Commons is the second largest Passive House residence hall in the United States and is projected to use 50% less energy than a standard modern building. The McGoldrick Center, with its large-scale 33.3-kW rooftop photovoltaic array and passive solar heating, is pursuing LEED Gold certification. The construction project is the largest in the school’s history.

• Waterfront Concerts, LLC of Old Town enlisted Ervin Architecture and completed their long-standing vision of developing a best-in-class amphitheater, with the Maine Savings Amphitheater being the largest and most modern music venue north of Boston. Bangor is now a premier concert destination for world class talent and amazing community events. Additions include ten corporate suites, five premium clubs, several ADA improvements, improved and expanded concessions, terraced Hussey Fusion seating with wider seats and aisles, two hundred and fifty-two new bathrooms, and a dedicated video screens and audio system for the lawn. The team used Maine-made products, contractors, and environmentally sustainable materials wherever they could to maximize the impact locally and to minimize its impact on the community and environment.

• Phoenix Flats in Portland is the first building in Maine to be constructed with the use of the newly created State Low Income Housing Tax Credit. The project is the result of a unique partnership between the City of Portland, MaineHousing, Portland Housing Authority, WNC, Bangor Savings Bank, and Community Housing of Maine, Inc. (CHOM), and was made possible by a long-term land lease from the City, and an additional land donation from Donald Sussman. Designed by CWS Architects, Thornton-Tomasetti, Bennet Engineering, Terradyn Consultants, and built by AlliedCook Construction, Phoenix Flats is Passive House Certified, and its design is the embodiment of all CHOM has learned about good design, energy efficiency, and thermal comfort. This development combines both affordable residential apartments and first-class commercial space into one building in downtown Portland. Beyond adding critical affordable housing, it is a blended Housing First development, discreetly housing people who are chronically homeless. What was once a city owned parking lot is now a beautiful building contributing to the social and economic goals of the City of Portland and the State of Maine.

• The City of Portland’s Homeless Services Center in Portland, also known as the “HSC” is Maine’s largest homeless shelter and is unparalleled in its provision of dignified living spaces and on-site wraparound support services. The HSC was thoughtfully designed and constructed specifically to serve the unhoused based on input from those experiencing homelessness. It includes 208 beds between separate men’s and women’s dormitories, a commercial kitchen and dining area, bathrooms with private showers, offices for service providers, an on-site health clinic run by Greater Portland Health, and an outdoor recreation area with garden beds. A result of many years of visioning and planning, the City of Portland selected Developers Collaborative to develop the shelter and lease it back to the City. Winton Scott Architects designed the building and Cianbro served as construction manager. The HSC utilized a pre-engineered Murox building system, concrete floors, and minimal finishes. The result is a LEED Gold-certified building that is durable, functional, comfortable, and humane. HSC operations are free of fossil fuels, powered instead by a solar array installed on the building’s roof. Heating, cooling, and hot water are entirely electric, and the building features a highly efficient variable refrigerant flow system.

• The Northeastland Hotel project in Presque Isle is noteworthy for its groundbreaking approach to community development, where a nonprofit partnered with the private sector to drive economic growth and create new opportunities in Presque Isle. Ignite PI reimagined the Northeastland Hotel as a dynamic hub for innovation and economic growth. Haley Ward, served as the Lead Designer and Architect of Record, and played a pivotal role in this endeavor, collaborating with Bowerbird Design Collective as the Interior Designer and Nickerson & O’Day, Inc. as the Construction Manager. The completion of Phase I in March 2023 marked a significant milestone for the renovation of over 8,900 square feet of space within the hotel. The repurposed Northeastland Hotel houses a coworking Innovation Center and revitalized common areas, including the restaurant, lobby, and staff rooms. This multifaceted approach not only modernizes the hotel but also transforms it into a vibrant space that fosters collaboration, entrepreneurship, and community engagement. The project highlights how a collaborative, forward-thinking approach can transform a community and its historical landmarks.

• Johnson Hall Redevelopment, LLC, redeveloped Maine’s oldest Opera Theater. Johnson Hall Opera House in Gardiner, the three-story brick Italianate building is a significant feature of Gardiner’s Historic District with a fascinating history spanning over 150 years. The building received both interior and exterior renovations to all three floors with an installation of a new balcony. It was constructed in conformance with historic standards as set forth by the National Park Service, Maine Historical Preservation Commission standards and Gardiner Historical Society requirements. Today the building features a 400-seat theater with state-of-the-art sound, lighting and projection equipment; a gracious lobby and concession area; and a green room for performers on the second floor; an expanded foyer and full-service box office on the ground floor; a renovated 100-seat theater on the lower level; and ADA compliant access throughout all floors with ramps, an elevator and a stage lift. During pre-construction and construction, over 37 consultants and businesses combined were engaged in the project. Johnson Hall Opera House is now an anchor to downtown hospitality businesses and an engine of economic opportunity. It will promote, create, and inspire artistic excellence through the presentation of world class entertainment and professional performing arts education to the Kennebec Valley.

• Reveler Development’s The Armature at Hanover Works in Portland is Portland’s first and only lifestyle apartment complex. The mixed-use property opened for occupancy in November 2023 and is located in Portland’s rapidly emerging West Bayside neighborhood, featuring 171 residential units, 10% of which is workforce housing, with integrated parking and 6,400 SF of commercial space. The Armature provides much-needed housing while also transforming the building’s ground floor into a retail and dining hub within West Bayside. Once a mechanical garage and surface parking lot for Portland’s fleet of public works vehicles, the industrial history of the site inspired The Armature’s name and branding. A ground-up construction project, The Armature required an intensive construction timeline and was made possible by a collaborative effort with its project partners, including Penobscot General Contractors, Acorn Engineering, and Reveler’s in-house construction team. The space was designed by Boston-based architecture firm Cube3. On the ground floor, The Armature’s four commercial spaces will connect with local businesses along 82 Hanover Street, forming Hanover Works and fostering an indoor-outdoor neighborhood hub.

MEREDA congratulates its 2023 Notable Project Award Recipients and thanks its Membership for their continued commitment to responsible development in Maine. Each project will be recognized in the Maine Real Estate Insider e-newsletter published by Mainebiz, running Summer of 2024.

For more information on these impressive projects, please click here.

May 7, 2024 at 6:00 am · · Comments Off on Listen Up! The May 2024 Episode of the “MEREDA Matters” Podcast is Now Available!

Listen Up! The May 2024 Episode of the “MEREDA Matters” Podcast is Now Available!

A Conversation with Mark Dion, Mayor of Portland

Mayor of Portland Mark Dion sits down with MEREDA President Craig Young and MEREDA Board Member and MaineHousing’s Senior Director of Government Relations and Communications Erik Jorgensen, for the seventeenth episode of MEREDA Matters – the podcast that puts you in the room with the people who are driving responsible development in Maine.

Dion, who grew up in Lewiston, discusses his life-long career in public service, which includes serving in the Portland Police Department for 20 years, then as Sheriff for 12 years, and as both a State Representative and Senator. Dion shares how Portland has changed since he first moved to town in 1972 to attend USM, remembering when Portland was just a “big fishing town” and sharing his experience as a beat cop in the Old Port. He goes on to discuss his decision to head to Augusta to serve in the House of Representatives and his work on the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Maine. The conversation continues as Dion talks about his agenda and priorities for Portland and shares that he’s friends with people who have opposing views as him on the City Council.

The group goes on to discuss the complex situation of the unhoused population in Portland, the dire need for affordable housing, and the problem with deciding policy by referendum.

What is Mayor Dion’s favorite restaurant? Listen to the episode to find out!  https://mereda-matters.simplecast.com/

Catch up on past episodes while you’re there!

 

The MEREDA Matters podcast is sponsored by NBT Bank and Landry French Construction. Additional sponsors include Bangor Savings Bank, Clark Insurance, A Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company, and The Boulos Company. A new episode will be released each month and each will feature new voices from the real estate and development industry.